In the lead up to Climate Week in New York and the climate talks in Paris this fall, there has been an outpouring of compelling graphics and videos illustrating the human causes and eventual dangers of climate change including, “What’s Really Warming the World,” “How Many Brutally Hot Days You Will Suffer When You’re Old” and an animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted.
These visuals help to raise the alarm about climate change, which happens very slowly, and is mostly caused by invisible greenhouse gasses. However, the American public is already aware of the facts. A 2014 study showed that the majority of Americans already believe in global warming, and support funding for renewable energy and regulation of CO2 as a pollutant.
So what actions can we take, or are we already taking, that can mitigate climate change and enable human prosperity? Here are some positive illustrative examples pointing to a more livable future:
Emphasizing solutions and benefits is one of the top ten tips in a recently revised, free guide on communicating effectively about climate change. It states that a critical barrier to greater public engagement on climate change is the perception that the problem is simply too big to solve.
A “solutions-first” approach can foster engagement, and help audiences feel like they can be part of the solution. There is a need for more online, interactive experiences that provide emotionally positive, informative and compelling information on climate change solutions for the general public.
- Judy Sandford, Vice President, CSR Strategy